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Omega-3s fatty acids

are essential to great nutrition and should be incorporated as readily as a daily multivitamin. Why? Because they are essential for brain and emotional health, and also are key for reducing inflammation in the body. The ratio of North American omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid intake is as high as 20:1 when the ideal is 2:1! This drastic increase in the supply and consumption of vegetable oil, especially in processed foods like corn, safflower, sunflower, and soybean oils which have omega-6 linoleic acid, and the decrease of omega-3 consumption is a sure recipe for inflammation.

Omega-3s and inflammation

If you didn’t know, an immense amount of research has made it clear that inflammation is connected to virtually all chronic health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and acne. For parents struggling with children with ADHD, know that research has shown that frequently kids who are diagnosed have lower levels of omega-3’s along with B vitamins and magnesium, so supplementing omega-3s could improve the negative behavioral patterns in ADHD children.

Omega-3s and stress

In addition to preventing the onset of some serious diseases, getting sufficient omega-3s is going to help decrease your stress-factor. A large majority of diseases can be activated or progress more rapidly because of stress. According to a study conducted at Ohio State University, consumption of Omega-3s will lower stress levels. Additional research has shown that this necessary super supplement may also reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and depression. It may even speed recovery after a workout. The best way to incorporate Omega-3 fatty acids is by taking fish oil, or an algae-based supplement if you are a vegetarian, and also getting in some great sources through your diet.

If you are experiencing any of the following conditions, you especially need to ensure proper supplementation:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Fatigue
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Joint pain
  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Asthma

Typical sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

(Fish High in DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids):

  • Anchovies
  • Bluefish
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon (wild has more omega-3’s than farmed)
  • Sardines
  • Sturgeon
  • Lake trout
  • Tuna (in moderation to avoid mercury)

Eating more fatty fish can help with omega-3 consumption, but mackerel, swordfish, tilefish, and shark should be avoided due to higher levels of mercury, PCBs, or other toxins.

Vegetable sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

  • Chia Seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Walnuts

 

References:

Cao Y, Lu L, Liang J, Liu M, Li X, Sun R, Zheng Y, Zhang P. Omega-3 Fatty
Acids and Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. Cell
Biochem Biophys. 2015 May;72(1):77-81. doi: 10.1007/s12013-014-0407-5. Review.
PubMed PMID: 25427890.

Grosso G, Galvano F, Marventano S, Malaguarnera M, Bucolo C, Drago F, Caraci
F. Omega-3 fatty acids and depression: scientific evidence and biological
mechanisms. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2014;2014:313570. doi: 10.1155/2014/313570.
Epub 2014 Mar 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 24757497; PubMed Central PMCID:
PMC3976923.

Gow RV, Hibbeln JR. Omega-3 fatty acid and nutrient deficits in adverse
neurodevelopment and childhood behaviors. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2014
Jul;23(3):555-90. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2014.02.002. Epub 2014 May 27. Review.
PubMed PMID: 24975625; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4175558.


Simopoulos AP. The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty
acids. Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;56(8):365-79. Review. PubMed PMID: 12442909.

 

 
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